Normally an opinionated person, I am seldom at a loss for an opinion. Here's the deal, I have had, in the past two years, two situations come up in our Church involving spouse abuse. I am appalled by abuse and thankfully have never had to endure it, although my husband's parents were abusive to each other.
I believed and believe to this day that God does not expect a woman to endure abuse from her spouse, and when these women left their husbands, I helped them. They both had complained that their husbands prevented them from being faithful to God, and once free of them, they would attend faithfully and raise their children in a godly way.
The odd thing is that this never happened. In Case Number One, the mother had to get a full-time job. She had to leave her four teen aged children home alone after school until 7:30 or 8 everynight. She comes to Church 2 or 3 times a month and looks terrible. There have been rumors that she was "seeing" a young man, 10 years her junior. I actually ran into them at a restaurant. She is farther than ever from God, and has given up on her precious children. They come to Church if they want to. The girls come but the boys attendance has become sporadic at best.
Case Number Two is more recent. The husband is indeed terrible, more verbally than physically abusive, although I know that its still terrible. The husband is now gone, having been evicted by the wife. Is she any better off? No. Her oldest girl is going through a time of dangerous rebellion.She has no energy or time to deal with her. The girl has been photographed by a "friend" in a suggestive way, and had the photos posted on a local forum. There is no dad, even a bad one to fight for his daughter's honor. The three kids have been sick. Every time I see her, she looks like she's about to burst into tears. Is she any better off? Not that I can see.
Her kids are doing a lousy job of raising themselves.
So then I read CTTHH again, and I've read blogs that blast the Pearls for their position on spouse abuse. And I am coming to an unpopular conclusion. Spouse abuse is bad, but separation hasn't seemed to be helpful. I will think twice before sanctioning separation, even if there is abuse. There must be a better way. Oh Lord! What do You want us to do? What can we tell these distraught daughters of Yours? Surely You have provided a way for them? Can God change an abusive husband? Is there hope aside from separation?